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Seam sealing a tent? Necessary?

2:38 a.m. on January 30, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

I upgraded my winter mountaineering tent to a Bibler and am wondering whether or not I should seam seal it. Is this necessary? Will it really provide an advantage to me in the short or long term? Why should I do it? What problems can I run into if I don't?

Thanks,
Matt

4:56 a.m. on January 30, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. T. Russo, Tony

Quote:

I upgraded my winter mountaineering tent to a Bibler and am wondering whether or not I should seam seal it. Is this necessary? Will it really provide an advantage to me in the short or long term? Why should I do it? What problems can I run into if I don't?

Thanks,
Matt

 

I own a Bibler Eldorado. According to a Bibler representative I contacted, seam sealing is not really necessary, but, you should seam seal the outer seams of your Bibler tent to protect them from dirt and grime. Place an extra amount of sealer around the metal buttons (if you have them)used to support internal poles. This reasoning should extend to your vestibule, if you've purchased one. Be aware that these instructions are specific to the Eldorado tent. You should e-mail Bibler (www.bibler.com) to verify exactly what should be done for your tent.

By the way, Bibler is very specific with the type of sealer used; you can purchase this on their web site along with a nice little applicator which works very well. GOOD LUCK!

11:53 a.m. on January 30, 2003 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Lock down the stitching...

Quote:

I upgraded my winter mountaineering tent to a Bibler and am wondering whether or not I should seam seal it. Is this necessary? Will it really provide an advantage to me in the short or long term? Why should I do it? What problems can I run into if I don't?

I like seam sealing to lock down the stitching and protect the seams from stress. Also, any high wear areas (pole areas especially).

I think Biblers come with seam grip, which I find too thin. Much prefer Freesole, which goes on thicker and easier, soaks in great, and leaves a nice layer for wear and tear.

If you use the tent in winter, and especially in bad weather, nice for piece of mind. When you're out shovelling and the wind is blowing, the tent is goin' to be prone to damage. If you lock the seams and stitching down, then your shovel won't tend to snag and possibly break threads and/or tear fabric edges. Also, stitching, when worked a bunch (high wind) tends to loosen especially if there's a loose end or break in the thread (pretty common). These tears won't run if you've seam sealed. As well, sometimes tent makers don't sew all the stitching perfectly, and will run a seam too close to a fabric edge (etc etc etc). Something to look for while your seam sealing or before you buy the tent in the shop. Seam sealing will help beef up any areas of stitching that haven't maintained a prudent edge distance.

I pay attention to the bottom, especially where the pole ends will cause a high stress point on the fabric. If you pitch your tent on a firm surface, especially abrasive dirt, and you get a prolonged wind event, you'll eat thru the bottom of your tent. Slathering on freesole or seam grip in these areas will help save the tent fabric.

Biblers especially are pretty bomber right out of the box. But, if you pitch it, and note any potential high wear areas, and you plan to have the tent and use it a bunch, it'll last longer if you seam seal it and you'll feel a bit safer when the wind is collapsing it on top of you...

Brian in SLC

12:23 p.m. on January 30, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Follow up question....Re: Lock down the stitching...

Quote:

Quote:

I upgraded my winter mountaineering tent to a Bibler and am wondering whether or not I should seam seal it. Is this necessary? Will it really provide an advantage to me in the short or long term? Why should I do it? What problems can I run into if I don't?

I like seam sealing to lock down the stitching and protect the seams from stress. Also, any high wear areas (pole areas especially).

I think Biblers come with seam grip, which I find too thin. Much prefer Freesole, which goes on thicker and easier, soaks in great, and leaves a nice layer for wear and tear.

If you use the tent in winter, and especially in bad weather, nice for piece of mind. When you're out shovelling and the wind is blowing, the tent is goin' to be prone to damage. If you lock the seams and stitching down, then your shovel won't tend to snag and possibly break threads and/or tear fabric edges. Also, stitching, when worked a bunch (high wind) tends to loosen especially if there's a loose end or break in the thread (pretty common). These tears won't run if you've seam sealed. As well, sometimes tent makers don't sew all the stitching perfectly, and will run a seam too close to a fabric edge (etc etc etc). Something to look for while your seam sealing or before you buy the tent in the shop. Seam sealing will help beef up any areas of stitching that haven't maintained a prudent edge distance.

I pay attention to the bottom, especially where the pole ends will cause a high stress point on the fabric. If you pitch your tent on a firm surface, especially abrasive dirt, and you get a prolonged wind event, you'll eat thru the bottom of your tent. Slathering on freesole or seam grip in these areas will help save the tent fabric.

Biblers especially are pretty bomber right out of the box. But, if you pitch it, and note any potential high wear areas, and you plan to have the tent and use it a bunch, it'll last longer if you seam seal it and you'll feel a bit safer when the wind is collapsing it on top of you...

Brian in SLC

Brian, thanks much for the information and advice. You've consistently provided me with good field experience in the absence of mine.

I also have a question for you about techniques for seam sealing. Should I be applying a small amount to the seam to just cover the seam indent itself or should I use a larger amount and flatten it so that it covers the seam indent and 2-4 millimeters on either side?

Your help is much appreciated!

1:38 p.m. on January 30, 2003 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Trowel it on...

Quote:

I also have a question for you about techniques for seam sealing. Should I be applying a small amount to the seam to just cover the seam indent itself or should I use a larger amount and flatten it so that it covers the seam indent and 2-4 millimeters on either side?

I gob it on as thick as possible, as much as possible, as wide as practical. I usually try to get the seam, then extend the goop over to cover the stitching (usually a double set). Even the thick stuff will run, so, I try to lay the side I'm working on flat and just work my way around the tent, usually takes me over a week to finish.

I sometimes pop the tube in some hot water for a few minutes to heat it up, so its runnier. Then I just squeeze the tube and apply it liberally.

Freesole works for all kinds of stuff. I use it for repairs, to patch small holes in my packs, to cover the bottom high wear areas, to create a "memory" shelf on my overboots (overboots on boots, add glue, put on crampons, remove when cured by peeling the crampons off. Makes it super easy to use those pesky overboots), add to high wear areas on gloves, shoes, etc etc.

I'd say I'm high on Freesole, but...I kinda watch those fumes...can't be good for you...(har har).

Thanks!

-Brian in SLC

4:22 p.m. on February 1, 2003 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
One nice thin coat brushed on with trimmed "acid" brushes.

Quote:

Quote:

I think Biblers come with seam grip, which I find too thin.

With all do respect, I prefer the seam grip but I do use the catalyst with it otherwise it drys too slowly and can make an awful mess. I seam sealed my Bibler El Dorado much to Bill Ss surprise becaue is factory hot taped. My sealed joints are thin and about 5mm wide. I have had no problem and it only added a few ounces of weight to the tent.

As far as the application - I feel that moderation is the key. If the glue is too thick or covers too much area then it will tend to stretch, pull and separate from the cloth. There is always a "correct" amount of sealant or glue that will both strengthen and seal but will not be too much that it creates new problems.

Jim S

8:02 a.m. on February 3, 2003 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
As they say...YMMV!

Quote:

As far as the application - I feel that moderation is the key. If the glue is too thick or covers too much area then it will tend to stretch, pull and separate from the cloth. There is always a "correct" amount of sealant or glue that will both strengthen and seal but will not be too much that it creates new problems.

I have a pack whose bottom is completely covered in Freesole, as well as a drysuit which I added a thick layer of Freesole to the high wear areas of the elbow, knee and butt. Amazing stuff (must soak into the cloth really well). Haven't noticed any issues with separating. But, I'm usually applying to new items, but I do shoe repair and pack repairs (those small holes that tend to get bigger if you don't do anything with them) as well as gaiters too. And the bottom corners of my tent. And...

A friend of mine uses the stuff for high wear areas on his dry suit as well, and before it cures, sprinkles on some sugar. Makes for a much higher friction surface when the water melts the sugar off. Neat-o.

YMMV!

Brian in SLC

5:25 a.m. on February 16, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Ditto that - seam seal everything for better performance & longer life n/t

Quote:

Quote:

I upgraded my winter mountaineering tent to a Bibler and am wondering whether or not I should seam seal it. Is this necessary? Will it really provide an advantage to me in the short or long term? Why should I do it? What problems can I run into if I don't?

I like seam sealing to lock down the stitching and protect the seams from stress. Also, any high wear areas (pole areas especially).

I think Biblers come with seam grip, which I find too thin. Much prefer Freesole, which goes on thicker and easier, soaks in great, and leaves a nice layer for wear and tear.

If you use the tent in winter, and especially in bad weather, nice for piece of mind. When you're out shovelling and the wind is blowing, the tent is goin' to be prone to damage. If you lock the seams and stitching down, then your shovel won't tend to snag and possibly break threads and/or tear fabric edges. Also, stitching, when worked a bunch (high wind) tends to loosen especially if there's a loose end or break in the thread (pretty common). These tears won't run if you've seam sealed. As well, sometimes tent makers don't sew all the stitching perfectly, and will run a seam too close to a fabric edge (etc etc etc). Something to look for while your seam sealing or before you buy the tent in the shop. Seam sealing will help beef up any areas of stitching that haven't maintained a prudent edge distance.

I pay attention to the bottom, especially where the pole ends will cause a high stress point on the fabric. If you pitch your tent on a firm surface, especially abrasive dirt, and you get a prolonged wind event, you'll eat thru the bottom of your tent. Slathering on freesole or seam grip in these areas will help save the tent fabric.

Biblers especially are pretty bomber right out of the box. But, if you pitch it, and note any potential high wear areas, and you plan to have the tent and use it a bunch, it'll last longer if you seam seal it and you'll feel a bit safer when the wind is collapsing it on top of you...

Brian in SLC

4:11 p.m. on February 19, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Freesole

I'm a huge fan of Seam-Grip (use it on everything), but would like to check out the Freesole. Where do I get it?

Frank

10:31 a.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)
(Guest)

buy fioricet

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